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Bullet Bills, originally known as a Turtle Cannon[1][2] and also referred to as a Cannon,[3] are black cannons that fire Bullet Bills from either side. They are usually used as defense emplacements in fortresses and castles. While some Bill Blasters are pure black, others have a design (usually a skull icon) emblazoned on their side.

Bill Blasters are immobile and usually indestructible, as they are commonly part of the environment. Although they cannot move around, some Bill Blasters in more recent games have been shown to be able to rotate, like a turret. However, recent games in the series have made Bill Blasters enemies that are capable of being defeated. Due to their nature, they are usually paired with Bullet Bills as their main attack.

Bill Blasters are similar to Burners. The latter emits flames instead of Bullet Bills.

History

Super Mario series

Super Mario Bros.

Turtle Cannons first appear in World 5-1 in Super Mario Bros., where they were placed throughout the Mushroom Kingdom during Bowser's initial invasion. They are also found in World 5-2, World 7-1, World 8-2, and World 8-3. They are found in locations that are difficult for the Bros. to travel through, such as on the ground or above the player where they would be hit if the player jumped. They will not fire if the player is directly above one or completely within a sprite box next to one.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Turtle Cannons return and this time are found in even more difficult places. They now are more common and act just the same as they did in Super Mario Bros. They sometimes appear in underwater levels, where in the original, their details are colored green due to having the same palette as the scenery. However, the Bullet Bills these ones fire are black with gray details, due to sharing their palette with Bloopers. Both are colored normal in the Super Mario All-Stars version.

Super Mario Bros. 3

Turtle Cannons appear in Super Mario Bros. 3. They first appear on Larry's Airship along with Cannons. They are also invincible. They appear numerous times on all airships, tanks, and boats. Some fire Missile Bills

Super Mario Land

A different form called Pipe Cannons[4] appear in Super Mario Land. Unlike their stationary counterparts, Pipe Cannons move out of Warp Pipes like Piranha Plants and then fire a Bullet Biff before retreating.

Super Mario World

In Super Mario World, Turtle Cannons can be found in the Sunken Ghost Ship and Outrageous. This game also introduces the Torpedo Hasshadai, which shoots Torpedo Teds.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Turtle Cannons can be seen in some levels of Mario Zone. In this game, they appear more box-shaped, but still fire Bullet Bills at a periodic rate.

Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS

A single Turtle Cannon appears in Super Mario 64, and a few more in its remake, Super Mario 64 DS. This Turtle Cannon is found on the top of the tower in Whomp's Fortress after defeating the Whomp King. It looks drastically different from its previous appearances, more resembling a simple gray box with a hole for launching Bullet Bills rather than an actual cannon. This is the only game in which Mario can force a Turtle Cannon to fire; it will do so if he performs a ground-pound on top of one. In the DS remake, more of these Cannons can be found in Whomp's Fortress in the new area surrounding the fortress, after a large gap, and in Dire, Dire Docks before completing Bowser in the Fire Sea. They can now be destroyed using a Mushroom.

New Super Mario Bros.

In New Super Mario Bros., Bill Blasters return to their original role of being a part of the game's environment, having the same behavior they had in previous 2D games. However, in this game, they can be destroyed by use of a Mega Mushroom. An advanced tower version of a Bill Blaster called the Bill Blaster Turret is introduced. Also, a new variant of Bill Blasters that shoot Banzai Bills first appear in this game, called the Banzai Bill Cannon.

Super Mario Galaxy

In Super Mario Galaxy, Bill Blasters appear in many of the game's levels. They are often found on planets or other areas where various items are trapped in cages, where Mario must lure a Bullet Bill from the Bill Blaster to the cage or cages in order to access what is inside. Their appearance here is more typical of a cannon and noticeably lacks the familiar skull icon. The Bullet Bills they shoot out will home in on Mario upon becoming aware of his presence. Some Bill Blasters can be destroyed by luring the Bullet Bill back. Others are too far into their base for one to reach.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Bill Blaster as well as Bill Blaster Turrets and Banzai Bill Blaster reappear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii and act the same as in New Super Mario Bros.. Unlike in that game, they are again invincible, as the Mega Mushroom is absent from the game.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Bill Blasters reappear in Super Mario Galaxy 2 and serve the same purpose as in its predecessor. Banzai Bill Cannons appear as well. They have the exact same appearance in the predecessor.

Super Mario 3D Land

Bill Blasters and Bill Blaster Turrets later appear in Super Mario 3D Land and serve the same purpose as the games before. However they are shown to appear differently such as in Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Bill Blasters reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2 and act the same as in its predecessors. Gold Bill Blasters are golden versions of a Bill Blaster that are created by a Gold Ring, and fire Gold Bullet Bills.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Bill Blasters and Bill Blaster Turrets reappear in New Super Mario Bros. U, behaving the same way it did in previous games. This time, Roy Koopa utilizes a longer, bazooka-like version of the Bill Blaster cannon in his boss battle.

Super Mario 3D World

In Super Mario 3D World, Bill Blasters appear in various levels, behaving the same as in Super Mario 3D Land. In this game, they resemble their appearances in the first three Paper Mario games, and are also capable of firing Cat Bullet Bills.

Super Mario Maker series

Bill Blasters reappear in Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Mario Maker 2 as the only way to generate Bullet Bills. In Course Maker, their length can be adjusted by grabbing their tip and stretching it up or down. The regular black variants fire Bullet Bills by default, but if another enemy or an item is placed inside one, it will shoot an indefinite amount of them in Mario's direction — except for Coins, of which multiple are shot in three consecutive bursts before they stop appearing. Shaking a Bill Blaster will turn it into a red Bull's-Eye Blaster and make it fire Bull's-Eye Bills. An element can be placed inside a red Bill Blaster, which will shoot such elements much faster than a regular Bill Blaster. A sound effect can be placed on a Bill Blaster of either color to make it generate that sound every time it shoots things out of it.

Although static objects, Bill Blasters are affected by gravity and will fall down if positioned in mid-air or bounce on Springboards continuously if placed atop them. In addition, they will slowly sink into lava if they end up there. They can also be attached to tracks and glide along them.

Bill Blasters can be destroyed by pounding them with a big Goomba's Shoe. The Goomba's Shoe can also pound the ground near a Bill Blaster to release two puffs of smoke on both sides of the shoe that will destroy the blaster on contact.

In Super Mario Maker 2, red Bill Blasters instead shoot Cat Bullet Bills in the Super Mario 3D World style.

Super Mario Odyssey

Bill Blasters are present in Super Mario Odyssey, retaining their Super Mario 3D World look in 3D and their Super Mario Bros. look in 2D sections. They can also shoot visor-wearing Bullet Bills in the Metro Kingdom and Sand Kingdom.

Yoshi series

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island/Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3

In Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Turtle Cannons are green, like the Bullet Bills themselves, but act entirely like previous incarnations. Their cannon visibly expands upon preparing to shoot Bullet Bills, then returns to normal after having done so. They can be frozen with use of a blue watermelon, and then shattered by being touched or struck with an egg.

Yoshi's Story

Turtle Cannons make an appearance in Yoshi's Story where they look slightly different. Much like previous games, most shoot Bullet Bills forward, though some will shoot them upward.

Yoshi's Island DS

Bill Blasters return in Yoshi's Island DS, although this time, like the Bullet Bills themselves, they are colored black like in the main Mario games. They appear in The Goonie Coast Isn't Clear!, Welcome to Yoshi Tower!, Bessie Bass's Battleship, Return of the Moving Chomp Rock!, Island of Peril, Let There Be Light!, and Superhard Acrobatics.

Yoshi's New Island

In Yoshi's New Island, Bill Blasters, as well as the Bullet Bills they shoot, return retaining their appearance from the main Mario games. There are also Bill Blasters that have a cannon in only one side.

Yoshi's Woolly World/Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World

Bill Blasters return in Yoshi's Woolly World and Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, acting the same as in previous games, except that this time, they are made of wool. If Yoshi throws a Yarn Ball at a Bill Blaster, it will get tied up and become temporarily deactivated.

The World 6 boss, Knot-Wing the Koopa, launches Bullet Bills and Bull's-Eye Bills from a Bill Blaster on his shell.

Paper Mario series

Paper Mario

In Paper Mario, Bill Blasters appear in Koopa Bros. Fortress right before facing the Koopa Bros. themselves. They are considered separate enemies from the Bullet Bills they launch. They must be destroyed before Mario and his allies can end a battle and progress through the level. On the overworld, Bill Blasters fire Bullet Bills at Mario. If hit, Mario and his friends have to fight the Bullet Bills before continuing to the Bill Blaster.

In battle, Bill Blasters cannot directly attack Mario's party; instead, they fire Bullet Bills to attack for them. A Bill Blaster has an unlimited supply of Bullet Bills; the cannons will continue firing Bullet Bills until defeated. Jumping attacks are generally ineffective against Bill Blasters, as their hard armor protects against such attacks.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Bill Blasters return in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and are first encountered in the Pirate's Grotto, and appear quite often there as well. They look exactly the same, though more refined with the improved graphics, and their battle strategy was largely unchanged. They still shoot out Bullet Bills to attack for them, but now have a new move, which allows them to shoot out two Bullet Bills instead of one.

Also returning is the Bombshell Bill Blaster which fires Bombshell Bills. They are much alike, except for the higher attack, defense, and golden color. These are encountered in the Palace of Shadow.

Super Paper Mario

In Super Paper Mario, Bill Blasters appear exclusively in Chapter 3-1 guarding Bowser's fort. They shoot Bullet Bills like any other Bill Blaster, but these ones will only shoot in the left direction instead of both.

If the player completes the level then comes back later in the game, the Bill Blasters can also be defeated by using Bowser's fire breath or very accurately using Luigi's super jump. They can also be defeated by using a Catch Card.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Only two Bill Blasters appear on Bowser Jr.'s Flotilla in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Here, they appear as mere obstacles and cannot be battled. However, they were originally meant to be fought, but were cut from the game.[5]

Paper Mario: Color Splash

One Bill Blaster makes a minor appearance in Paper Mario: Color Splash. It can be found in a secret underground area of the Super Mario Bros. 3-themed level in the Green Energy Plant. Because of this, the Bill Blaster is seen in its sprite-based Super Mario Bros. 3 appearance, and the Bullet Bills it fires use the same style as well. Roy Koopa's Bill Blaster also returns, though he uses it to launch paint.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga/Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and its remake, Bill Blasters act the same as they did in the Paper Mario series. Mario and Luigi must jump on the Bill Blasters to eliminate them before a battle can end. The only difference to these Bill Blasters are that they shoot their Bullet Bills directly at the brother that is standing in front of them.

Mario's Time Machine

Two Turtle Cannons cameo in the NES release of Mario's Time Machine, aboard Ferdinand Magellan's ship in 1520. However, they do not fire, and as such are only there for aesthetic purposes.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

Bill Blasters appear in the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U as Smash Run enemies. They sit in place, and do not move as they take damage. In addition to firing Bullet Bills, they may also fire other enemies, such as Koopa Troopas or Shy Guys.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Bill Blasters return in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker with an appearance and function identical to Super Mario 3D World. The standard Bill Blasters fire normal Bullet Bills, while red Bull's-Eye Blasters fire Bull's-Eye Bills.

Variants

  • Sniper Bill - These bullet bills will fire from a distance.
  • Bullet Shell Bill - These bullet bills will release a large amount of coins when destroyed. They will also bounce off walls and are gold which gives them the name Golden Bullet Bill.
  • Invisa Bill - These green bullet bills can go through walls.
  • Bowser Bill - A green bullet bill with horns.
  • Mad Bullet Bill - A flaming red bullet.
  • Mad Banzai Bill - A flaming red banzai bill.
  • Glad Torpedo Ted - A gold, happy torpedo ted.

Bill Blaster

Bill Blaster (New Super Mario Bros Wii)

Bill Blaster's New Super Mario Bros. Wii artwork.

Bill Blasters are enemies from the Super Mario series. They are basically just cannons that shoot out Bullet Bills. They never attack directly.

References

  1. Hiroo Tochikubo, How to Win at Super Mario Bros., Tokuma Shoten, 1987, ISBN 4-19-720003-XC. Page 14.
  2. "Turtle Cannons relentlessly fire this living, deadly projectile at Mario." Nintendo Power Volume 13. Page 9.
  3. Nintendo Mario Mania Player's Guide. Page 167.
  4. The Nintendo Game Boy Player's Guide, page 5.
  5. https://tcrf.net/Paper_Mario:_Sticker_Star#Enemies
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